… And Then I Kissed Her (II)

...and then I kissed her (ii)read part one here

“You disappeared, ” her voice quivered. “You fucking disappeared and left me to deal with everything again.”

By everything she was referring to the fact that I left without a trace during a surprise birthday party she threw for me on the eve of our trip to Prague. See, the problem with recurrent depression – coupled a reputation for being compulsive – notably when you’re self-medicating and the meds are of the recreational kind, is that it creeps up on you at the worst time ever and soon enough you’re plummeting into an abysmal despair, emotionally overwhelmed and panicked, wondering about permanence, commitment and expectations after our bohemian getaway. The commitment part triggered things and I never really figured out why I was even entertaining these thoughts when the last thing I ever wanted was for it to end up blowing up in our faces like with my parents. So, I grabbed a bottle of whisky and started walking, first to Jack Friedman’s then somehow I ended up at a facility in Kenilworth and was released seven months later. By the time I was back in Jo’burg, I figured it was too late to say anything until I heard she would be attending Dev’s thing in Parkhurst – nothing like the post irony of ‘we last saw each other at a party, a year later we meet at one’.

“Then you rock up in Zee’s car to Dev’s party,” she continued. “I mean you don’t even like Dev for fuck’s sake! Let alone Amu,” she scoffed, “then you’re all giggly with that 12 year old but you scare off the only guy I’ve been really into since you.” She turned her back to me.

“You should have seen your face though, in the car? Composure’s always been your best quality, well until your episode last night.” I chuckled as I walked out onto the balcony.

“You deserve worse.” She killed the cigarette in a little china pot she kept in the corner and stood with her back to me, facing the view. A sliver of orange light broke the the blue-black horizon, I always cherished that moment just before dawn, I felt that I could be honest with myself. I stepped towards her and stroked her arm. She shivered.

“Babe, I’m sorry.”



“I mean don’t go now apologise if you’re going to keep doing the things you’re sorry for,” she was jaded. It was the longest time I had an episode – as she would say.

“I know,” I pulled her towards me and  wrapped my arms around her, she tried pushing away but I held tight. “But I’m here now.”

“Why don’t you let me in?”

“I missed you.”

“Prague was amazing.”

“Sometimes you have to grow apart to have new stories to learn, to share. That’s why I miss you exists.”

“But it’s still messed up, this… Last night.” She pulled out the embrace and moved to the weathered wicker chair that was once her grandmother’s. Magnet’s “Lay Lady Lay’ came on as I sat next to her.

“I’m really sorry though,” I started. What she had known as my affinity for compulsive activities and wayfaring was in fact a mask for the insufferable unipolar depression I had always been afraid of telling her all these years. I need that time to “get over [my] fucking self” as Amu had yelled when she and I got kicked out of the party because I cock-blocked her and she flipped, hard. She stormed over and told me how much she hated me, I laughed and told her that for her to hate me so much she just have loved me equally at one point, that’s when it turned into a scene.

Her eyes filled up as she listened to my concession. A tear rolled down her right cheek. I wiped it and she cupped my hand against her face then kissed my palm.”I don’t hate you.” She looked straight into my eyes and let out a soft sigh.

“I know.”

“I just hate what you put me through.” She leaned closer.

“Marry me.”

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… and then I kissed her (I)


“I’m sorry for all the shit I’ve put through,” I started as she unlocked the door to her apartment. She was startled at first but she relaxed when she recognised my voice.


“What are you doing here?” she turned around as I took the last drag of my cigarette. She was a mess, but then again, so was I.


“I’ve been waiting for you. Y’know…”


“No, I don’t.”


“I though we could talk, since…” Didn’t know what else to say, so, I took a couple of steps in towards her.


“Look, it’s almost six. I’ve had a long night. I need to shower and the sun’s gonna rise real soon.”


“Sunrises were our thing.” I smiled hoping to disarm her but she looked me dead straight in the eyes.




“Okay, I get it. But please… let me in.” For a second, I was expecting her to slap me across the face like she had done the night before but she ushered me in. I knew her apartment like the back of my hand. Everything was exactly like how I last saw it, almost a year ago. We used to be inseparable but now things were painfully different and we hadn’t spoken since. Well, not really as there was the episode, last night where we exchanged profanities, poured drinks on each other and we were eventually kicked out of the bar where Dev’s farewell party was being held. She said she’d stopped counting the days since we last spoke because apparently the minute you stop counting the time after a break-up, you get over it quicker. She probably got that from those girly magazines she read, it’s a load of bull. From the profanities she hurled my way the night before, she was suppressing it all.


I went to the kitchen and found her fiddling about with some glasses. I sat on the counter – I knew she hated that.


“Want something to drink?”


“What do you have?”


“The usual.” She held up a botlle of whisky.


“Sure. No ice.” I chuckled. She measured out the liquid into two tumblers and slid one across the kitchen table, just out of my reach. So, I got off the counter, grabbed the glass and took a sip, “maybe I’ll have some ice.”


“Fresh out.” she shrugged.


I followed her to the lounge, she was on the couch flipping through a magazine, aimlessly. I started to playing around on her iPod and The Cardigans came on. 


“How did you get here?”


“Cab. You?”


“Oh, they let me in after you disappeared. So, I got a lift with Zee and them.”


“That’s cool…”


“Yeah…” I caught her mouthing the part where the song goes:


and if you want me I’m your country


 before she took a sip of her whisky. She turned to me “so, you’re here?”


“Yeah, I came to apologise and see if-“




“That’s the thing, though, I came here so we could-“


She didn’t let me finish, instead she went on this rant about how I couldn’t blame her for thinking that I had all of last night’s events planned. Granted, I’m not too keen on Dev’s pretentious crowd but the minute I found she was going I knew I had to be there and do something, the only thing was that I didn’t know what I was going to do but whichever way I ended up where I wanted to be, at her place with Nina Persson and company providing an apt soundtrack.


“You can’t act like that especially after you disappeared on my ass a year ago!” She got up to light a cigarette and stood at the balcony.


… to be continued








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